Technical Expertise

DEFINITION: A critical component in a sustainable digital preservation program is access to professional technical expertise that can proactively address business requirements as well as respond to impacts of evolving technologies. The technical infrastructure and key processes of an ISO 14721 conforming archival repository requires professional expertise in archival storage, digital preservation solutions, and lifecycle electronic records management processes and controls. This technical expertise may exist within the Archives/Records Management unit, be provided by a centralized function or service bureau, or by external service providers and should include an in-depth understanding of critical digital preservation actions and their associated recommended practices.

Note: A sustainable program needs to be supported by people with the right skills and knowledge or access to such knowledge.  Work with external partners, train existing staff, or hire new staff with specialized skills. 

 
 Level 0   The Archives/RM unit has little or no operational access to specialized professional technical expertise in digital preservation or electronic records management.
 Level 1 The Archives/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that only supports project-based digital preservation initiatives.
 Level 2 Level 2a: The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) in DoD 5015.2 compliant electronic records management software.

Level 2b: The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that only supports non-conforming ISO 14721 Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP).
 Level 3 The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that supports ISO14721 conforming Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP).
 Level 4 The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise that supports all functions of an ISO 14721 conforming archival repository, including long-term digital preservation planning.

 

Resources

Resources associated with the Technical Expertise Framework element assist with providing background information and useful examples that can be consulted when trying to create or gain access to internal or external technical expertise.

Level 0

The Archives/RM unit has little or no operational access to specialized professional technical expertise in digital preservation or electronic records management.

Move to Level 1: To increase your knowledge base and understanding of digital preservation, start small and engage internal or external partners who have technical expertise that support selected digital preservation initiatives on individual projects. For example this could be a digitization project that include the preservation of the resulting files.

Jump to Level 2: Operational access to information/technical expertise about DoD 5015.2 compliant electronic records management software is available to the Archives/RM unit. [2a] In addition, the Archives also has operational access to technical expertise that supports OAIS non-conforming Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP). [2b]

Level 1

The Archives/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that only supports project-based digital preservation initiatives.

Move to Level 2: Operational access to information/technical expertise about DoD 5015.2 compliant electronic records management software is available to the Archives/RM unit. [2a]

In addition, the Archives also has operational access to technical expertise that supports OAIS non-conforming Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP). [2b]

Jump to Level 3: Operational access to information/technical expertise about ISO 14721 supporting conforming SIPs and AIPs.

Level 2a

The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) in DoD 5015.2 compliant electronic records management software.

Level 2b

The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that only supports non-conforming ISO 14721 Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP).

Move to Level 3: The Archive/RM unit has operational access to information/technical expertise that supports conforming SIPs and AIPs.

Jump to Level 4: The agency has operational access to information that supports ALL functions of an ISO 14721 (OAIS) conforming archival repository including long-term preservation planning.

Level 3

The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise (internal or external) that supports ISO14721 conforming Submission Information Packages (SIP) and Archival Information Packages (AIP).

Move to Level 4: The agency has operational access to information that supports ALL functions of an ISO 14721 (OAIS) conforming archival repository including long-term preservation planning.

Level 4

The Archival/RM unit has operational access to technical expertise that supports all functions of an ISO 14721 (OAIS) conforming archival repository, including long-term digital preservation planning.

Helpful Hints

When thinking about required skills is might be useful to review the National Digital Stewardship Alliance's report Staffing for Effective Digital Preservation (December 2013).

Also think about how some of this expertise can be "outsourced". For example, while staff should understand the importance of doing so, you may not need to have all staff be able to run and verify checksums or perform file format identifications if systems can do that for you. Preservica is an example of a system that can do these things for you.

Referenced Standards

  • DoD 5015.02-STD: Electronic Records Management Software Applications Design Criteria Standard
  • ISO 14721: Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS)

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